“This is a drink you can sip, you can shoot, or you can mix.”

T. Naomie Lucas

A member at City Club Raleigh, Raleigh, N.C. since 2015

BY LOUIS MARROQUIN / PHOTO BY ALEX BOERNER — Winter 2019

Who she is: Founder and CEO of Southern Wicked Lemonade, a 2-year-old minority- and female-owned distilled-spirits company that creates a 34-proof, gluten-free, all-natural version of moonshine. “People see moonshine as unrefined and backwoods, but we’re turning it into a luxury brand.”

Family secret: After she put aside a career in marketing and branding in 2016 to focus full time on developing this product, she discovered that her grandfather, an Eastern North Carolina sharecropper, had made and sold moonshine to put food on the table for his six children and to care for his tuberculosis-stricken wife.

Southern tradition: With these organically sweetened, ready-to-drink libations infused with moonshine, vodka, or vodka and gin, Lucas says she “wanted to bring back the idea of a sipping cocktail — something you can sit on your porch and sip while you talk about life.”

In the spotlight: The product got an immediate spike when, after debuting in 2017, it was selected to be included in the 2018 Grammy Awards swag bag, as well as the same year’s Top 20 Oscar Nominee bags. 

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